Child Online Protection Act …as well as Censorship…Struck Down
July 23, 2008 Leave a comment
Yesterday, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in their opinion of ACLU v. MUKASEY, that the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) 47 U.S.C. § 231, “facially violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution” and permanently enjoined the Attorney General from enforcing it.
Since the inception of the World Wide Web, Congress has tried to pass laws that would criminalize constitutionally protected speech on the Internet, and the ACLU has been challenging all such laws.
In 1996, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act, which criminalized “indecent” speech online. The ACLU sued, arguing that the law abridged the First Amendment in ACLU v. Reno. All nine Supreme Court justices agreed and struck down the law, recognizing for the first time that online speech deserves full First Amendment protection.